National Safety Month
June is National Safety Month. Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities.
Week 1: Hazard Recognition
Hazards are all around us at work and home, and the threats
can take many different forms. It can be a cord stretched over
a walkway, a repetitive process, a worksite that is too cold or a
burnt out lightbulb on an outside path. A hazard can be defined as
any existing or potential condition that, by itself or by interacting
with other variables, can result in death, injury, property damage
or other loss. That’s why it is so important for all of us to always
be on the lookout. If we can identify hazards early, employers
can address them, fix them, and prevent injury and illness.
Working together, we can be one of our best defenses. Hazard
reporting is a critical part of our safety program. Whether it’s
telling your supervisor, maintenance team, safety committee
or sharing in a designated reporting system, it’s best to
report hazards as soon as they are noticed. Don’t assume
that someone else has seen and reported it already, even if it
seems obvious to you. It’s better to have multiple reports on
the same hazard than none at all.
You are the expert of your job, your workstation, your routines
and tools. If you notice something out of the ordinary, you should
feel empowered to say something about it. Also, be sure to
avoid the trap of complacency – when you’ve done something a
thousand times it can be difficult to spot a lurking hazard.
Learn more >> Hazard Recognition tip sheet.
Week 2: Slips, Trips and Falls
While each of our jobs are different, for most of us, walking
is part of our workday. Whether it’s walking the factory
floor, taking a stroll outside during a break or getting from
one meeting to another, we are on our feet at least part
of the day. With all of that foot traffic, there is always the
potential for a fall.
According to Injury Facts®, falls to the same level are a leading
cause of preventable workplace injuries causing time away
from work. While walking seems like a simple task, it’s been
a leading cause of workplace injury for many years. We need
to watch out for all of the hazards tied to walking just as we
would any other part of our jobs that poses a safety risk.
So what are some of the dangers tied to walking? They include
distraction, footwear and basic housekeeping.
Learn more >> Slips, Trips, Falls tip sheet.
Week 3: Fatigue
For many of us, getting enough sleep each and every day is,
unfortunately, rare. When we lose sleep one or two days in a
row without catching up on those missed hours, we fall into a
sleep debt. Sleep debt makes us fatigued, and fatigue is much
more than feeling tired; it is an impairment that can put you
and your coworkers at risk.
Researchers say you need seven to nine hours of restful sleep
every day, but according to an NSC survey, 43 percent of
working adults admit to sleeping less than seven hours a day.
As a result, our workforce is increasingly fatigued, with one in
four workers saying they have fallen asleep on the job in the
past monthii. Often, people do not realize they are fatigued
until they are nodding off, but impairment can occur much
earlier. By the time you realize how tired you are, you could be
This makes fatigue a safety issue both inside and outside the
workplace. Without proper sleep at home, you cannot give your
best performance at work. Consequently, according to Injury
Facts®, approximately 13 percent of work injuries could be
attributed to sleep problemsiii. You must learn to recognize your
level of fatigue and take steps to improve it.
Learn more >> Fatigue tip sheet
Week 4: Impairment
At some point, most of us have felt the effects of impairment:
from losing focus and reaction time to just feeling different.
Often, this impairment is the result of using substances such as
alcohol, prescription drugs or marijuana, though we can also become
impaired due to fatigue or other factors, such as personal stress.
Whatever the cause, this gap between our normal state of mind and
how we feel in the moment can put us at risk, especially on the job.
In order to stay safe, workers need to be sober, well rested and
attentive. Losing sleep or using these substances can greatly
impede a worker’s ability to focus, operate machinery and make
sound decisions. Regardless of industry, losing focus on the
job can have deadly consequences for individuals and their
coworkers. Though many of these substances and behaviors
are common, their risks are not always as well-known, leading to
many injuries and deaths each year.
Learn more >> Impairment tip sheet